YouTube has a couple of settings you can use to optimize your viewing experience, like making YouTube run faster by switching to html5, adding favorites to your account to get better recommendations, and searching with filters like HD, upload date, or duration to narrow down your video selection.
These tools are handy, but limited. Services such as connecting to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or the ability to download a video aren’t a priority for YouTube to develop. Luckily, Chrome and Firefox have a wide array of addons and extensions that provide these services and more.
Chrome web store has all of the extensions you’ll need to make YouTube awesome. Here’s the three best extensions we found.
Wish you could open a suggested video in a different tab without it automatically playing? How about having a preferred viewing size, quality or an option to change your layout? YouTube Options for Google Chrome can do it all and more. YouTube Options is especially useful if you’re subscribed to a channel and just want to watch their videos without any comment or Vevo related distractions.
When someone tells you to check out a new band or artist, where do you go first? That’s right, YouTube. But if you want to be able to talk about the deep philosophical quandaries brought to the world by the likes of Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, or Lil Wayne, you’re going to need to know their lyrics. Lyrics for Google Chrome is great extension that searches for the lyrics of your favorite songs on YouTube. To start rapping along with Lil Wayne, first, get auto-tune, second, download Lyrics for Google Chrome.
As great as YouTube is, it isn’t immune to spammy videos. Unfortunately, there’s no built in feature that tells you what people thought of the video in advance before you click on it. Good thing YouTube Ratings Preview for Chrome can fix YouTube’s lack of a filter. It shows you the overall response to a video in the sidebar so that you don’t end up in that weird part of YouTube.
Mozilla’s Add-On page is the Firefox equivalent of the Chrome webstore. It’s a great resource to find addons for YouTube and about just about anything else you could want for your browser.
You’ve got Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Talk, LinkedIn, and MySpace (maybe not MySpace). How are you supposed to keep it all under control, you know? Yoono. Yoono is a Firefox addon that allows you to sync all of your social networking sites. It keeps everything nice and tidy so you don’t need 10 tabs open all of the time. There’s a beta version of Yoono for Chrome as well.
There are plenty of videos we regret spending part of our lives watching, but once in a blue moon you come across one of the best clips ever. It’s so awesome you want to keep it forever. Well now you can. Keep that video on your hard drive permanently with the Firefox addon Easy YouTube Video Downloader.
As great as YouTube is, it isn’t immune to spammy videos. De ja vu? Yes, we’re cheating a little bit, but we found the Chrome extension so handy that we decided it deserved its own place (and download link) for Firefox addons. Make sure to get YouTube Ratings Preview…again.
YouTube settings can only take you so far, but with these addons and extensions, you’ll be able watch what you want, how you want. Hopefully our favorites will become yours too.
What’d you think about this list? Were there any addons or extensions you would’ve added, changed, or gotten rid of? Do you use any of these currently or are plan on using them after reading this? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below.
By John Horne – November 5th 2012.